Galena based photographer, Geoffrey Mikol, recently sat down to chat with us, sharing a little bit about himself and what led to his photography business. He is the Artist behind River Bend Art Gallery, now located at 313 South Main street in Galena, Illinois.
A little bit about Geoffrey: Geoffrey Mikol is a professional artist that owns River Bend Gallery with his family in historic, Galena Illinois. Geoffrey has found a special connection with photography as a means of expressing himself. His artwork is stunning, capturing elusive light that the eye sees, but the cameras often miss. He has a talent for capturing moments in nature, that still the soul, and quiet your senses. Only 23 years old, Geoffrey has studied and practiced his photography now for nearly a decade, with spectacular results.
GG: How long has Geoffrey been a photographer, and what initially drew him to it you ask?
He picked up a camera for the first time as a Freshman in high school. He was initially just interested in getting pictures of his friends. Now he is using a Nikon 5300, a recent Christmas gift.
GG: What are 2 things people might be surprised to know about Geoffrey?
That he is a pretty good singer and dancer. According to Geoffrey, “His favorite band to sing and dance to is Maroon 5.”
GG: Thank-you, for the tour of your new gallery Geoffrey, what types of photos are your favorite?
Geoffrey: “Dark rocks and caves, and hidden places.” According to his dad, the way he catches the light is amazing. And as we have seen some of his photography for ourselves, we concur.
GG: Do you have any other hobbies besides photography?
Geoffrey: “Hobbies include playing guitar & harmonica, singing dancing, enjoying music, sports, (basketball is a favorite), cooking and acting in plays.”
GG: What do you enjoy most about living in and working in Galena, Illinois?
Geoffrey: ” All of the good friends I’ve met here, and all of the cool places to photograph.”
When asked what he thought of his new gallery space, he said, “it was awesome.” Although only 23, Geoffrey has a keen business sense and handed me a card before we finished our interview. He also has a great sense of humor. During our tour, after seeing some stunning landscape art of local bridges, barns and woodlands, (all with appropriate artistic titles like Silent Marsh and Mississippi Sunset,) I asked him to show me his favorite photo. He quickly walked over to a display and picked up one of a deer titled “One Buck” which is a photo of a large buck taken from behind. Then with a twinkle in his eye he declared, “My other name for this one, is… kiss my ass.”
Right now Geoffrey has about 100 framed photos available in his gallery, but he has taken over five times that many, so the photos in the gallery rotate. The new space is a light filled joy to walk through and acts as a perfect backdrop for his work. If you haven’t had a chance to go see his artwork for yourself and meet Geoffrey in person, please take the first opportunity to do so. You will not be disappointed. With the support of his family and friends, and his fantastic talent, we are sure his gallery will continue to be a great success! Another example of the great art available in Galena.
In closing, I would like to add that even as a writer I find it hard to fully describe a person like Geoffrey. I was struck by his youthful charm and humor, and his ease around his new gallery in his comfy socks.
But most of all, I wanted to take the time to say that I wouldn’t describe Geoffrey Mikol as a Down Syndrome artist. His work speaks for itself. Geoffrey Mikol is a multi talented artist, who just happens to have Down Syndrome.
To take a look at his work and gallery online go to: RiverBendGalleries.com
And for a full look at what’s happening in Galena tonight and every night, go to www.GalenaGuide.com